Documented by Kristina Mansfield

The Fresno Council of Governments Policy Board met on Oct. 26 and moved forward Measure C framework for final edits before it comes back for a vote next month. Photo credit: Kristina Mansfield

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Fresno COG Policy Board agreed to move forward with the recommended framework as presented in the summary report of the Group of 10 meetings as it relates to renewing Measure C. The summary document will undergo another round of edits prior to being agendized for the November 2023 meeting as an action item.
  • The Policy Board unanimously voted to bring the Fresno COG Regional Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Mitigation Program Study Final Report back for further discussion in February. The study found that VMT banking would be the most appropriate initial program framework and determined a fee-based program is feasible for the region. 
  • Fresno Council of Governments (COG) will receive $13.6 million in Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for capital improvement projects that promote affordable housing near high-quality transit and is accepting project applications now. The public can get more information about the Fresno COG REAP 2.0 Program here and submit an application here
  • The Policy Board tabled a request from the Fresno COG and Placeworks Consultants for an amendment to the Fresno County Multijurisdictional Housing Element (MJHE) contract for an additional $210,125 until its November meeting. The money would fund the remaining tasks needed to meet the Dec. 31 Housing Element plan deadline including additional land inventory analyses and more time to address new HCD requirements for participating jurisdictions. 

Follow-up questions

  • Will the Fresno COG make an attempt to partner with Madera County further, considering Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer’s comments regarding VMT?
  • What are the legal ramifications of the city of Clovis choosing to create its own, independent housing element outside of the Fresno COG? How does this impact the residents of Clovis and their housing rights?


The Fresno COG Policy Board meeting took place Oct. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Sequoia Conference Room (2035 Tulare St., 201) in Fresno. The meeting was also made available via conference call (888-398-2342, code 740166) for participants to listen in. No comments were taken via telephone. Thirty-six members of the public attended the meeting in person. 

According to its website, Fresno COG is a voluntary association of local governments – one of California’s 38 regional planning agencies that undertakes comprehensive regional planning. It has a transportation emphasis, provides citizens an opportunity to be involved with the planning process and supplies technical service to its members. Members are represented on the Policy Board by the mayors of each incorporated city, and the chair of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, or their designated alternates. The current members of the board are the cities of Clovis, Coalinga, Firebaugh, Fowler, Fresno, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Mendota, Orange Cove, Parlier, Reedley, San Joaquin, Sanger Selma and the County of Fresno

Fresno COG’s primary functions are transportation planning and programming funds to implement projects within the Fresno County region. As a state-designated Regional Transportation Planning Agency and federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for Fresno County, Fresno COG carries out the metropolitan transportation planning process. That process requires Fresno COG to prepare short- and long-term transportation plans and programs in accordance with state and federal government regulations to identify how the region will manage and operate a multi-modal transportation system — including transit, highway, bicycle, pedestrian and other transportation facilities — to meet the region’s economic, transportation, development and sustainability goals.



The Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA) regular meeting took place prior to the start of the Policy Board meeting and was called to order at 5:38 p.m. The items on its agenda were unanimously approved without comment and the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m. 



Beltran called the Fresno COG Policy Board meeting to order at 5:41 p.m. 

Fresno COG Policy Board members present: 

City of Clovis (Mayor Lynne Ashbeck) 

City of Firebaugh (Mayor Felipe Perez) 

City of Fresno (Mayor Jerry Dyer) 

City of Kerman (Mayor Maria Pacheco) 

City of Kingsburg (Mayor Pro Tem Brandon Pursell Jr.) 

City of Mendota (Mayor Victor Martinez) 

City of Parlier (Mayor Alma Beltran, chair)

City of Reedley (Council member Mary Fast)

City of Sanger (Mayor At-Large Frank Gonzalez)

City of San Joaquin (Mayor Julia Hernandez)

City of Selma (Mayor Scott Robertson, co-chair) 

Coalinga (Mayor James Horn), Fowler (Mayor Daniel Parra), County of Fresno (Supervisor District 3, Chair Sal Quintero), Huron (Mayor Rey Leon) and Orange Cove (Mayor Diana Guerra-Silva) were absent from the meeting. Fresno COG Executive Director Tony Boren, Fresno COG Deputy Director Robert Phipps and County Counsel Alison Samarin were also present at the meeting. 


The board unanimously approved Transportation Consent Items A – I. 

  • Ashbeck (Clovis) made the motion, which passed unanimously. 


Agenda Item A – Fresno COG Regional Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Mitigation Program Study 

The Policy Board unanimously voted to bring the Fresno COG Regional VMT Mitigation Program Study Final Report back for further discussion in February. The report evaluated potential available VMT mitigation programs in the region in order to meet the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) transportation mitigation needs for the Fresno COG. The study found that VMT banking would be the most appropriate initial program framework for implementation and determined a fee-based VMT mitigation program is feasible for the region. 

  • Paul Herman, principal planner with the Fresno COG, presented. Explaining the need for the study, Herman said the adopting of CEQA Guidelines SB 743 requires that the level of service used in measuring transportation impacts under CEQA be replaced with vehicle miles traveled (VMT). “Due to a lack of clear guidance, VMT mitigation remains an outstanding issue within SB 743 implementation. Projects with significant VMT impacts can’t move forward due to a lack of defined, quantifiable and feasible mitigation measures. This study evaluated potential available VMT mitigation programs in the region to meet the CEQA transportation mitigation needs for the Fresno COG.” 
  • Michael Schmitt of Kimley-Horn, the engineering, planning and design firm hired for the study, presented the Regional VMT Mitigation Program Study to the board. View the full, final report here
  • “In the future, we expect there to be about 40,000 households that will be over the VMT threshold set by Fresno COG,” said Schmitt, “Meanwhile there will be about 15,500 employees over the threshold as well.”
  • The purpose of the study was to determine the feasibility of a regional VMT mitigation program for the Fresno area, he said. Kimley-Horn consulted with a 30-member Stakeholder Advisory Committee and a nine-member Technical Advisory Committee to provide oversight throughout the process. It looked at three major types of plans, including VMT banking, VMT exchanges and VMT impact fee programs. The study concluded that VMT banking is the most appropriate initial option. 
  • Fast asked whether her community’s distance from Fresno will affect the city of Reedley. “Thinking of my community that’s some 30 miles from Fresno, is that going to affect my community more? Are we going to be penalized more because we’re further away from the hub?” she asked. “The need for mitigation would probably be greater due the distance from shopping, and potentially employment, and that typically results in a greater mitigation need,” Schmitt replied.
  • Dyer raised concerns about how the study relates to neighboring counties. “When you say regional, is it exclusive to Fresno County, or does it involve Madera? The issue is, for example, in the city of Fresno, if we focus on urban density and we’re trying to avoid sprawl and vehicle miles traveled and then, all of a sudden, they decide to build in Madera at Tesoro Viejo, it’s a different county but they’re commuting longer than if they were to build in our furthest sphere. If you look at 41 in the morning and the thousands of cars that are coming into Fresno, we’ve shot ourselves in the foot because they’re playing from a different set of rules perhaps then we are. And what’s to say that the people in Madera, living in Tesoro Viejo, that their work and shopping is in Madera? But what if it’s not? What if it’s in Fresno? VMT is just a horrible law.” Martinez agreed with Dyer. “Same as us on the west side. I hope when they try to implement the program that it’s not a one-size-fits-all,” he said. 
  • Dyer and Pursell said they’d both like to bring the study to their respective city planners. Pursell made a motion to bring the item back in February, and it passed unanimously. 

Agenda Item B – Fresno County Multijurisdictional Housing Element Contract Amendment 

The board tabled a request from the Fresno COG and Placeworks Consultants for an amendment to the Fresno County Multijurisdictional Housing Element (MJHE) contract for an additional $210,125 until its November meeting. The money would fund the remaining tasks needed to meet the Dec. 31 Housing Element plan deadline for participating jurisdictions. 

  • Juan Ramirez, associate regional planner at the Fresno COG, requested the amendment of the MJHE contract to avoid any future sanctions in the area, noting all participating jurisdictions will require additional funding to complete the public review draft documents for various reasons. Ramirez said up to $1 million in funding for the MJHE will come from the Fresno COG’s share of the Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) Program, but that each jurisdiction may be responsible for its own expenses incurred for any additional work beyond the additional $210,000. The initial April 29 agreement included a budget of $1.9 million.
  • Beltran said her jurisdiction isn’t going to make the Dec. 31 deadline, and asked what the penalties are. Robert Phipps, deputy director of Fresno COG, said in response, “Technically, you’re out of compliance if the Housing Element is not actually approved by HCD by the Dec. 31 deadline. Right now, we are not certain that any of our jurisdictions are going to make that Dec. 31 milestone. However, we’ve been told privately that the sanctions issue really has to do with those jurisdictions that are not being cooperative or that are fighting.” 
  • Dyer pushed back on the request, and questioned which specific jurisdiction created the work. “So there was an RFP (request for proposal) to select Placeworks for this project. They bid it at $1.895 (million). We awarded them the contract to do this work, and so I’m a little bit confused as to why they are now asking for a change order of $210,125,” Dyer said. “Who created the work?” 
  • “Everybody. Every jurisdiction has contributed to the overages by virtue of difficulties of getting information. All jurisdictions contributed in one way or another.” Phipps said, noting that he has a breakdown of the costs that he can discuss with Dyer privately. “The requirements for this cycle of Housing Elements and RINA are considerably much more stringent,” Phipps said. “There is much more information being requested in much more detail.”
  • Fast mentioned that last month a list had been provided that outlined where each city was with their plans, and said she felt like “we are being penalized because some other cities didn’t get their stuff done in time and now they need more money to help them finish in time.” Phipps confirmed that of 15 jurisdictions, Firebaugh, Selma, Parlier, Fresno County and Fresno city have not submitted their Housing Element plans yet. 
  • Pursell also had reservations about approving the amendment. “I want to know where that money is spent. I think that needs to be public,” Pursell said. “I’m not trying to burn those cities down, but I do think that us being reasonable stewards of our money, I don’t want to just give a blank check.”

Agenda Item C – Fresno COG REAP 2.0 Call for Applications

Brenda Thomas, Fresno COG, gave an informational presentation about the Fresno COG’s Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) 2.0 Program. 

  • Fresno COG will receive $13.6 million in REAP funding from the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for capital improvement projects that promote affordable housing near high-quality transit, and is accepting project applications now. Get more information about the Fresno COG REAP 2.0 Program here and submit an application here
  • The program seeks to accelerate infill housing, reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and affirmatively further fair housing through innovative projects. Fresno COG’s member agencies are eligible to apply for REAP 2.0 funds for capital improvement projects that promote infill affordable housing near high-quality transit. Community-based organizations and developers have the opportunity to participate as subconsultants to Fresno COG’s member agencies.
  • Project applications are due Dec. 15. Applications will be scored Dec. 18-Jan. 12, and the final recommendation will go to the Fresno COG Policy Board for approval Feb. 29. 

Agenda Item D – Measure C Renewal Update 

Fresno COG Executive Director Tony Boren presented a Measure C renewal update.

  • After the Nov. 2022 vote, five representatives from the “Yes on Measure C” committee and five representatives from the #Transportation4All coalition (which led the “No on Measure C” effort) agreed to a series of meetings to determine if there was a unified path forward to renewing Measure C. Five meetings, facilitated by the Community Justice Center and Estolano Associates, took place between April and October this year. Collectively, this group is called the Group of 10.
  • Participants in the Group of 10 included: Beltran, Dyer, Ashbeck, Scott Miller, Fresno Chamber of Commerce; and Henry R. Perea, former county supervisor in the Yes on Measure C group and Gloria Hernandez, Mothers Helping Mothers; Kato Prado, Youth Leadership Institute; Travis Alexander and David Rivas, Northern California Carpenters Union; Sandra Celedon, Fresno Building Healthy Communities; and Veronica Garibay, Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability in the No on Measure C group. 
  • Garibay, co-founder of Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability, presented a summary report titled “Moving Forward Together: Securing Fresno County’s Transportation Future.” The report is the result of the work done by the Group of 10, and lays out a framework for how the group can get to a measure, not the measure itself. Nine out of the 10 participants in the group were in agreement with the framework laid out in the presentation to the board, she said. Perea was the dissent and gave public comment later on in the meeting.
    • “We know to be successful to have a sales tax in Fresno County we need to be able to work together,” said Garibay of the people in both the pro and con Measure C camps. “The work that we’ve done is to try to address what divided us before in the 2022 election that led to an unsuccessful attempt to renew Measure C to get us to a place where everyone benefits.” 
    • Of the Group of 10 concept, Ashbeck said, “The power of this is it’s one group. It’s five people and five people. You’re not going to hear a presentation from the pro and a presentation from the con. If there’s one takeaway from this, it’s that there’s one framework to work from in the next 12 months.”
    • Dyer said, “We went into this not knowing whether or not we would have good ongoing communication, if we were going to be dwelling on our past and the feuds we had, or if we would be moving forward together. We had a really good facilitator; I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, in terms of the process. There were ground rules that were established that really allowed us to focus on the issues, not on the personalities. No eye rolling, no negative comments, no going backwards. And so I think that set the stage for us to have some good dialogue.”
    • “You can imagine how the first meeting went. A few of us had to get a couple of our feelings out. But this led to some early agreements,” Garibay said. Those early agreements include: 
  • A local transportation measure is important. “It does a lot of good,” she said.
  • A future sales tax measure should be grounded in a shared vision. “We’re all going to be here in Fresno County, we’re looking at the future.. There are young people in this room who are going to pay for this measure, and we really need to ground it in a vision we can all share and agree,” Garibay said. 
  • Decision-making protocols should be clear. “This was one of the challenges many of you can attest to in the last go around when it wasn’t clear who and how decisions were being made about what was placed before the voters, and that created a lot of chaos. I’m sure some of you remember a meeting that went until midnight at City Hall,” Garibay said.
  • Spending priorities should be clear. “Everybody should have a voice at the table if they want one regardless of who you are. If you’re a Fresno County resident, voter and taxpayer and you want to dedicate the time and energy to crafting this, you should be able to have a voice in the process,” she said. 
  • Garibay said the Group of 10 worked to create a shared vision that guided their work together. The group agreed that the new transportation sales tax measure will benefit all residents, invest equitably, use a fair and inclusive process, promote health and community resilience, provide economic opportunity and close wealth gaps and advance innovation. “We know that there are communities and neighborhoods, small cities, unincorporated communities, neighborhoods within the cities of Clovis and Fresno that are in dire need of investment,” Garibay said. “We’ve all heard it, and we’ve all heard about the transportation challenges that affect Fresnans throughout the county.” 
  • The proposed structure for the Group of 10 includes the following components: an administrative team, a community forum, a project facilitation team, a drafting team, the Fresno COG, the FCTA, each of the 15 cities and the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. “It was important to the 10 of us in the room to be very clear on the role of elected officials, the role of specific cities, the role of the county and the community at large,” Garibay said.
    • The administrative team is responsible for moving the renewal process forward, securing and managing the project facilitation team and providing regular updates to the Fresno COG and FCTA. It is composed of 14 individuals, five proponents of the 2022 measure, five members of the 2022 opposition campaign, the executive directors of the Fresno COG and FCTA and the chairs of the Fresno COG Technical Committee and Policy Advisory Committee. 
    • The community forum is a series of community meetings that will take place over a 12-14 month period where everybody in the public (“your schools, your farmers, your industries, businesses, tribal leaders, schools, young people, students, your health sector, your safety people”) is invited to come and help establish the goals, outcomes and priorities of Measure C, facilitated by a dedicated team. The forum will review and vote on a final recommendation to each of the 15 city councils, the Fresno County BOS, the Fresno COG and to the FCTA before it is placed on the ballot, consistent with state law. 
    • “A dedicated project facilitation team will be hired as part of the framework, should it be adopted. “Renewing Measure C is a full time job. This is a huge undertaking, and we’re talking billions at stake here. We know that we need full-time, dedicated staff to help move this along. In our recommendation, the project facilitation team prepares all of the meeting materials,” said Garibay.
    • Also included is a dedicated drafting team, which Garibay described as a subset of the project facilitation team. “These are your experts that put pen to paper with what’s coming out of the community forum, what’s coming out of your {Fresno COG} meetings and the feedback you’re providing, and helping draft the plan for review and feedback.” She added that it is fully expected for members of the drafting team to participate in all community forum meetings so they are present to hear first-hand the feedback from the public. 
  • Garibay reminded the room that Fresno County and Measure C has a special section of the Public Utilities Code that guides how you can put a measure on the ballot if it’s done by the local government. “Our intent is that we follow that process, which is the same process that Fresno County has used since 1986 to renew Measure C.” Sandra DeLeon of Fresno COG concluded the presentation and said polling, campaign development and budgeting would be separate processes before opening the meeting to questions and comments from the board.
    • Dyer pointed out that the county’s technical experts will play a role throughout the process to allow for the community to become more educated as they’re making decisions about priorities and reiterated that the drafting teams should be present at every community forum to hear first hand the feedback from the public. “I also want to make sure everyone understands the decision-making still lies with the elected officials but it is heavily influenced by the community.”
    • Martinez said of the plan, “I think to be successful we need to hear from every taxpayer, and hearing what everyone out there has to say, the first thing they say is: ‘Fix the roads, fix the roads.’ They’re even making memes now, they’re walking on the moon. It’s not right. We live in a first-world country with third-world roads. It’s not acceptable.” 
    • “I appreciate some of the 10 members who have had boots on the ground in some of our rural communities,” said Pacheco. “We really appreciate having them be at the table and be the voice for our community.” 
  • The next section of the meeting was dedicated to public comment about the Moving Forward Together framework.
    • Perea opposed the framework presented to the Fresno COG and encouraged board members to “read the plan that’s before you and ask your city managers to understand the impact of this document.” Perea said he was a part of the previous two Measure C efforts and doesn’t need to explain the positive impacts they have brought to the community. He mentioned his experience as an elected official and offered his insight into problems with the plan. 
    • “I wore the hat of an elected official for over 20 years as a board member for Fresno City Council and Fresno Board of Supervisors. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what it took to get where you are. The reason why you’re here is because the people in your communities gave you the responsibility to make decisions on their behalf. The decision-making now has been taken to this community forum, whoever that may be. A lot of times it becomes whoever takes the time to go to those meetings and talk the loudest, they control the dialogue,” Perea said. 
    • Perea questioned why the infrastructure that has been in place for the last 40 years is being rebuilt, acknowledging that “yes, the last one failed” but that the high numbers show “that it did pass strongly, everywhere” and that what brought the measure down was the opposition and Republicans. He questioned whether that Republican opposition was accounted for in the Group of 10 and said “at the end of the day, a lot of them won’t come because they voted for you to do your job.” 
    • Perea said the upcoming change in the Fresno COG leadership also presents an opportunity to rebuild community buy-in. “I would argue that we have two great leaders that are retiring, Tony and Mike, and we wish them well, but the opportunity that I see is that I know there was a lot of mistrust for elected officials in this county, a lot of mistrust in the county of Fresno and how they may or may not spend their money in their disadvantaged communities, their unincorporated communities,” Perea said. “I think the opportunity with new folks coming in is to see if we can’t all get together. We all want the same thing, which is a new Measure C.” 
    • Perea ended his comments with a plea to the board. “Please, if nothing else before you agendize this, read it, and have your city managers read it,” he said. “There’s some poison pills in here that you don’t want to live with.”
    • Eliseo Gamino, president of the Central Valley Leadership Round Table, said “I’m one of those folks that voted no on Measure C because we wanted dialogue. Not because I don’t think Measure C is a good thing, but because we were not part of the process. We have a lot of issues in Mendota, Firebaugh, San Joaquin, and frankly we need to stop ignoring and neglecting these communities because they’re part of Fresno County. Look at Mendota, being voted one of the worst places to live in the state of California. I don’t want that kind of reputation for any city. We are not going to give a blank check to anyone without us having a voice. In order for some people to win some people have to lose, and I’m tired of being one of those communities that lose.”
    • Fast: “We have roads that are very difficult to travel on, too, and if you went to every one of our cities, including the city of Clovis, including the city of Fresno, and including the county of Fresno roads, you would find the same answer. That’s what Measure C is for my community, it’s to portion out for the whole county region and if it doesn’t pass, then you’re going to see really bad roads.” 
    • Martinez: “There’s not much that can be done with $100,000 trickling down. We’re not here to discuss the nuts and bolts but what they’re asking is to be part of the process and to pass something we need to have people be part of the process. It’s not going to go through if we don’t involve them in the process. There’s a thousand other things that we make decisions on, but in this case, we need to get people together. I don’t see the reason why we keep pushing this.”
    • Hernandez: “I’m one of the 10. I went to every meeting unlike Henry. I’m not a Democrat and I’m not a Republican. I’m a human interest. I was the only one there that does not have a salary and does not have a staff. I came with my heart and my mind,” she said. “I don’t know what he’s afraid of when he says we have a personal interest, my only interest is making sure it passes. You know how hard it is for me to sit at a table with Dyer, but we did it, and we came to an agreement.” 
    • Dave Rivas, senior field representative for the Carpenters Union, spoke out in support of moving forward. “To get both sides in the room at the exact same time and sit down and have a dignified conversation raised a lot of eyebrows, even in my organization,” Rivas said. “To come down to this point to have a compromise is a phenomenal thing. I know for a fact my work starts during community forum because I have to convince everybody in there what I want. Ultimately it’s going to be your decision and I have to do the work; we have to organize, and we’re fine with that because we believe this is a true process and it’s not a revolving circle.” 
    • Arias: “Let me give you some context. In the county we’ve had the library’s Measure B pass. We’ve had Measure Z pass. We’ve had Measure P, in the city of Fresno, pass. All of those three measures were created by the community. It wasn’t the council who sat there and wrote each of the measures, it was the community, the people who cared about the subject matter, who came together and developed it, but the elected officials had the final say on yay or nay to go before the voters. In this case, Measure C’s process lays out the same kind of framework, where the community early on would be participating in the process. Where it wouldn’t be the next Mike and Tony drafting the proposal on their own and bringing it to the governing bodies. It’s going to be the community. There’s going to be a lot of disagreement, probably more than agreement, but that is democracy at its finest.” 
    • Arias then pointed out there are four different steps where elected officials get to make changes versus the public’s opportunity for input. “Ultimately we’re public servants. We’re not kings or queens. We don’t get to dictate to our community, we get to serve them. And part of that service is to give away some of that responsibility and transfer some of that responsibility to the community to show up.” 
    • Nayamin Martinez, Central California Environmental Justice Network. Martinez expressed her support for the framework. “I originally voted no because of the process, but I am now in favor of this {Measure C} because the broken process has been fixed…what this process allows for is public participation,” she said. “Let’s level the playing field. Why are we afraid of knowing what the community members want to see and how the money should be invested? Frankly I’m very surprised that a former elected official is afraid of letting the public speak. We’re not saying that you’re not going to have the authority to say what is going to go on the ballot, we’re just making things better.”
    • Sher Moua, co-director of Programs of Youth Leadership Institute Central Valley, said “We were a part of the Group of 10. We have school-based programs, and community-based programs, with communities across Fresno County. We have school-based programs in 12 of the 15 school districts in the county. Our young people and their families rely on public transportation to move about the cities and the county, and for their livelihoods. We can say more, but we’d rather hear from them through the community forum process what their needs are and what they want,” Moua said. “We support the Moving Forward framework as recommended by the Group of 10. We look forward to the opportunity for all of us here to work together with residents and young people across Fresno County on a measure that is developed with the community and is fair and equitable.”
    •  Garibay: “Nobody is taking your vote away. As Council member Arias just noted, you’re still getting four bites at the apple, and that is consistent with what you’ve done since 1986. What we’re asking you to do today is support this process, direct your staff — because they work for you, not the other way around — to get to work. Or else there is no Measure C.” Garibay said that although approving the framework isn’t an action item on the agenda, she urged each of the member’s to support the process and to direct their staff to get to work in the meantime. 
    • Dyer: “At the end of the day it’s not just about passing Measure C. It’s not just about fixing roads in our community. For me, what’s equally important is that we have unity in the community when it’s done because having division is not good for our communities. I think there’s a way to do both.” 
    • Pacheco spoke in support of the framework. “For Veronica and her team, and for the Group of 10 to be successful, I feel like there just needs to be a little bit of fine tuning. If we can take the concerns that Mr. Perea has and that Mayor Dyer has, I think that we can all move forward and be comfortable in that direction.”
    • Ashbeck urged the group to move forward with the framework. “This is the public process we didn’t have in 2022. Whether we end up with the exact same document, I have no idea. People aren’t going to get everything they want, that’s never been the deal. But I think this {framework} is our only chance to get Measure C passed. If we don’t do it with some framework like this it will never happen.”
    • Boren and Arias got into a tense exchange while the former was making a comment about the framework. “Mike and I believe we have an administrative responsibility to present to our boards our analysis of the validity and identify any holes there may be…” Boren said, as Arias interjected “No, no, no, you can’t rewrite it, Mike or Tony. Just retire!” Pacheco scolded Arias, and said, “We don’t need any rude comments from the public.”
    • “We can talk about this until midnight,” said Ashbeck, prompting the group to decide that they “generally agree and have a consensus to move forward, get with our staff, fine-tune the details and bring it back in November.”
  • The Policy Board agreed to move forward with the recommended framework as presented in the summary report of the Group of 10 meetings as it relates to renewing Measure C. The summary document will undergo another round of edits prior to being agendized for the November meeting as an action item.

Agenda Item E – Caltrans Report 

  • Caltrans received six Clean California grants in the amount of $12 million this cycle. Out of 230 applications, only 42 were awarded in the state. District 6 placed second in the state out of 12 districts with $53.4 million in grants, of which $32 million is allocated to climate adaptation grants. Those grant deadlines will be in January. 
  • Caltrans has reached out to several community organizations to gauge their interest in partnering on a revitalization project to update the faded mosaic tile murals along highways 41 and 99. The murals were originally installed in the mid-90s in partnership with the Rotary Club. 

III. Administrative Consent Items 


IV. Administrative Action/Discussion Items  

Agenda Item A – Fresno COG’s 2024 One Voice Advocacy Trip to Washington, D.C. Priority Submittals 

  • Brenda Thomas presented an informational update about the Fresno COG’s 2024 One Voice Advocacy Trip. The 2024 trip is scheduled for March 16-20. The One Voice sponsorship packet is now available online here and the Regional Priorities Submittal Form is now available here


A. Items from Staff 

Ofelia Abundez, associate regional planner from the Fresno COG, gave an update. Her department hosted its Second Annual Sock Drive and donated 173 pairs of socks to people experiencing homelessness in different encampments. Up next is the Annual Nonperishable Food Drive on Nov. 2.  

B. Items from Members 

The next meeting will be the last day of November. 




The meeting adjourned to closed session at 8:14 p.m. 

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